Where else? 

I feel lucky to have a job like this. I work with good wines,
August 2014 Issue / Vol. 2, No. 15                                        I get to entertain people, and I get paid for it.

Chef Mel Mecinas

August 2014 Chef's Larder

Chef Brian Widmer

Dining at the White House
by Chef John Moeller
w/Mike Lovell

Mugwort: Absinthe's
cousin loves your liver.

Chef John Marcetti

Talavera Restaurant Revue

Don't miss what's new at

Sign up for our free newsletter!



               Like Us!

Synopsis:  Sommelier Petra Petrakovicova, Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay, CA

Petra Polakovicova, born and raised in Slovakia, had an innate interest in the hospitality business early. Her mother worked in a university and the family got a chance to travel around the country and Europe often. When the group checked into a hotel, she’d slip away to explore the property. “I was always fascinated by hotels,” she explained. So it wasn’t too surprising that she got a job at a hotel when she came to the United States 18 years ago. She worked her way up, from busser to food runner to hostess. She spent a little time behind the bar. Then she went for management training, and got into management “Then I worked for the Ritz Carton in San Francisco about 8 years ago. That’s when I went to school and I got certified as a sommelier.” One of her favorite wines comes from Arianna Occhipinti, a Sicilian winemaker (“I am a farmer and proud of it”) who produces natural and organic wines that personify the terroir. The self-professed “revolutionary spirit” has opened the world’s sleepy eyes toward Sicilian wines. Occhipinti got into the wine business through her uncle, the “O” in the trio of winemakers at COS, one of the leading wineries in Sicily. Each of the letters stands for the last name of the three friends who started the winery. Giambattista Cilia and Cirino Strano are the bookend initials.